The words came one January morning. They came after months (really years) of letting go. Letting go of a ministry role I dearly loved and thoroughly enjoyed. Letting go of things I wanted – wanted to be, wanted to do. Letting go of what people thought of me and above all what I wanted them to think of me. It had been, and continues to be, a journey of letting go all that would supercede what as a child of God is to be my primary pursuit, my first love.
A question had weighed heavy on my heart: Were the words of Jesus in Revelation 2:2-4 true about me? “I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance… You have persevered and have endured hardship for my name and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: you have forsaken your first love.”
Did I love serving God more than simply being in a relationship with God? Did I love the blessings of God more than God? Was my relationship with Him more about me than about Him: more about what He could do for me, how He could change me than my knowing, loving and worshipping Him? Could I be content in this relationship not doing for Him but simply being with him as the Psalmist challenged, “Be still and know that I am God” (Ps. 46:10)?
I knew what the answer should be. I knew what I wanted it to be. After months of asking, no, begging God to make my answer His desired answer I began to see a change in my heart. The words on January 19 would be the first of many reminders: the ultimate joy is intimacy with God.